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Google Currents to Blame For Nexus 7 Lag After Update to Android 4.2?

After the update to Android 4.2, many users of the Nexus 7 have experienced major lag issues, with no real fix or explanation for the occurrence. Neither ASUS or Google have acknowledged any issue, which isn’t a shock, but that hasn’t stopped one member of XDA to dig for a solution. 

During his research, he discovered that Google’s Currents app could be the culprit. With tons of forum members supporting the post and even users on Reddit stating that the fix has worked like a dream, here’s what you can do to fix the alleged lag on your Nexus 7.

  1. Open your app drawer
  2. Open Google Currents
  3. Click the three dots in the top right corner of the app
  4. Tap “Settings”
  5. Uncheck “Enable Background Sync”
  6. Reboot your Nexus 7

If this helps speed up your Nexus 7, let us know and be sure to spread the word.

Via: XDA

Cheers Dominick!

  • Did nothing. I also tried wiping the cache partitions, wiping the cache for all of my apps, disabling location service, and installing forever gone to clean the sd card. Absolutely nothing worked and I’m getting really frustrated.

  • michaelL

    It’s interesting how many odds and ends there are in the complaints list. Staples took back my first Nexus 7 because it refused to restart after an overnight charge… (and I’ve seen the note on how that could have been fixed.) My second Nexus 7 gave me 24+ hours of consistent work before it needed to be recharged (that seemed equally odd). Currents hasn’t bothered me, no lag in performance. No stray words appearing or apps moving. The auto update to 4.2.1 worked great. It’s a wonderful machine at a great price for 32gb. (perhaps the larger size avoids some of the problems)

  • TJ

    My nexus 7 will sometimes freeze, when you lock it and unlock it it will work fine. sometimes the screen does its own thing, it will move my apps, send facebook messages by itself, and scroll through pages by itself. sometimes when im typing the screen freezes and a bunch of random letters start getting pressed. whats happening? The only time it works decently is if i hit (tap) the back of it.

  • Gerard van Reekum

    By the way, I like it that newest posts are added on top here (in spite of all the G+ wizards I think that comments should be ordered that way, also on G+, but I know I’m off topic now and say sorry for that)

  • Gerard van Reekum

    It weas off and I never have experienced the lag, so….

  • Phonedude

    I have had lag, random reboots, oscillating screen issues since I did the 4.2 update. I was grateful to find this note on Currents last night. I tried it, and instantly after reboot I could tell that the lag was WAY better. It will require some more usage to know if it was a full fix or not, but for now, I walked away feeling so much happier with my Nexus 7. I kind of like Currents, used it to do some quick reads of blogs I enjoyed.

  • anyone experience a glitch when updating apps in google play where it seems to flicker to one of the first apps in the list? It doesn’t matter what app is updating, if I leave it on update screen it jumps to one of the first apps alphabetically and just flickers on that screen, the only way to get it off is to press home button or turn screen off.

  • Alexon Enfiedjian

    Actually, the XDA member found the instructions on TalkAndroid.com

  • angermeans

    This is ridiculous that one app is to blame for such lag on my Nexus 7. Hey Google this is years after your first version of Android stop will all the gimicky things and work on the damn lag. It doesn’t matter if it is stock or skinned and no matter the hardware of version of Android I run (yes, Project Butter helped a little, but still Android is far behind iOS and now Windows Phone in overall fluidity). This is a huge problem and makes Android so frustrating to use. My Nexus 7 just sits on my dresser and my Galaxy Nexus and GS3 I finally just sold off.

  • Jesus Banda

    This seemed to help mine noticeably.

  • sk102704

    I was one of those who was experiencing terrible lag after updating to 4.2. It was right up there with the amount of lag I experienced after updating my OG Droid to Froyo, but this has made a huge difference for me! Thanks Droid Life!

  • TheDrizzle

    My lag was caused by not leaving at least 2-3 Gb of room of memory. They say its an issue with Asus’ memory.

  • Well, I’m still on 4.1.2 [No AOKP 4.2 yet]; still I’ll try this Currents method to see if it cures the moderate lag-iness of my GNex. It has the biggest data+cache footprint after Play Music. I deleted the data using TiBu. But it is still showing 128 MB of cache and going to android settings > Apps > Currents doesn’t give me ‘clear cache’ options. Any ideas?

  • Brent Cooper

    I have had huge lag/touchscreen issues since upgrading. Mostly the latter. I think this has helped but only time will tell

  • Jcopernicus

    Probably has to do with the daydream implementation.

  • Simon Belmont

    Weird. So does this happen even if you don’t use Google Currents?

    My friend who was asking about this with his Nexus 7. I haven’t personally experienced a noticeable lag with Android 4.2 on my Nexus 7.

  • This made a night and day difference for me.

  • Raven

    I have not noticed any lag on my N7 since updating or seen Currents running in the background unless I had started it earlier since a boot. It may help some people, but I sure have not noticed anything. Also, remember your device is always going to seem faster after a boot, so give it some time before you start proclaiming it as the magic cure for all.

  • this seemed to clean up the lag on my n7 and 4 but still getting android os as a big battery killer. any ideas? rebooting doesnt seem to change it.

  • DanSan

    remove currents from day 1.

    problem solved.

  • jonny6pak

    I only have 4.1 on my GNex, but Currents has been a problem for me ever since I updated to JB. Background sync had it using 20% of my processor power most of the time. It was killing my battery and my phone’s performance. I uninstalled it and everything was fine again.

  • mcdonsco

    Just curious why this would only effect the nexus and not other droids?

  • sunyup

    I had problems with mine being slow and lagging and I read initially that the nexus 7 needs at least 3gb of free data to run properly. I had 3.7gb but it was still lagging pretty badly. I noticed under storage i had 2gb of data cached. I deleted that and my nexus 7 is back to normal.

  • Liquidretro

    Now lets figure out the kernel panics and random reboots.

  • c_topher_v

    It’s great that I read this the day AFTER I did a factory reset.

  • Haven’t notice any lag issues since the update

  • zombiewood is playable again.. Thanks so much this worked really really well.

  • zebra

    currents slowed down my gnex on 4.1 too

  • Rob

    Weird, it’s not installed on mine. I disabled it before 4.2, maybe it wasn’t installed with the upgrade because of it being disabled.

  • Damian

    So much for Project Butter…….

  • I did notice much more lag on my N7 after the 4.2 update. I’m happy to see other people are experiencing the same issue as me. I just disabled the background sync on Google Currents. I’ll know after some normal use if this fixed the lag or not. Hopefully it helps!

  • Brent Nichols

    Has anyone else noticed quite a lag getting to the lock screen when waking the device? It is much slower than it use to be, and I’m not even using any of the new lock screen widgets.

    • Keith0606

      I have not had that issue. Seems the same speed as before.

    • TylerChappell

      I had the same issue, the lock screen was super laggy after waking the device up.

  • NexusMan

    That lag issue/fix did not just occur with the 4.2 update. I experienced lag issues about 3 weeks after owning my device back in August, and discovered this fix on a message board. And it worked for me then.

  • Interesting, I did turn off the sync, and it instantly felt better. Weird….

  • sirmixalot

    If it is on reddit, it must be true

  • Just curious is this only Nexus 7’s that were manually updated to 4.2? I’m buying one soon and i’m worried that it will be laggy right out of the box

    • Droidzilla

      A friend of mine just bought a Nexus 7 and it seemed oddly laggy. I’ll try this out and see if it was the issue.

      • Droidzilla

        That fixed it! Carry on, innertubez.

    • Keith0606

      I did an ota update. I didn’t notice much if any lag before the update or frankly after the update until late last night and then it was definately doing some serious lagginess. As soon as I was reminded about this today, I did what was described above, wham, no more lag.

  • I haven’t noticed any lag, but I uninstalled it since I don’t use it anyways.

  • saimin

    Google Currents was a huge resource hog even before Android 4.2

  • Dave Goldstein

    When Currents first appeared last year around this time I gave it a whirl on my Galaxy Nexus and it destroyed it. I had to disable it and then manually go in with root explorer and delete the cache for it bit by bit. As soon as I cleared it all up and rebooted, the phone came back to life. I now disable it as my first step on any new device.

  • I had this problem… the solution unfortunately was a data wipe factory reset. now it’s back to being buttery smooth. at least something worked though right?

  • This definitely helped me, but I still experience some lag. I would definitely recommend it.

    • hkklife

      Same here. I think there is something inherently broken in the N7’s 4.2 build. I have disabled Currents and Google New, run ForeverGone multiple times, and am keeping ~3.2Gb free at all times. My N7 still feels sluggish (but better than it had been) compares to when it was running 4.1.x.

      I will probably do a full wipe this weekend and hope that they roll out a permanent fix soon.

  • Al

    There was a lag?

    • JoshGroff

      Apparently, I didn’t notice any since I took the update. Then again I don’t use currents, so maybe that’s why.

  • Buy This

    AHA! So it wasn’t just in my head. VINDICATION.

  • I had only noticed lag in the Gallery. It took a long time for the thumbnails to load. It is much faster now. That was the only thing I had noticed.

  • ehaus81

    Found this tip last night. Definitely helps although not 100% back to what it was before the update. I might do a wipe and then use the images to install just to be sure.

  • Even better, just disable the app in Android App Settings. Did this when I first got my N7 as worked out Currents was causing a massive slow down

  • I have the app disabled it… Don’t use it… Still need to doing this?

    • JoshGroff

      Most likely not, if it’s disabled it shouldn’t be syncing.

  • EC8CH

    Haven’t noticed any real terrible lag but I’ll give it a shot since I don’t use Currents anyway.

  • Currents is mostly a waste of time. Flipboard is a lot better.

    • Agreed

      • stevethepirate

        disagree. flipboard is cute but rather useless without data. currents caches articles automatically for offline use which is probably part of the issue here.

    • fixxmyhead

      both suck

      • If you have all your social networks connected, Flipboard’s Cover Stories section does a very good job of automagically picking the best posts for you. It’s a great summary tool if you’re the Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing type.

        • DOAbarrelroll

          You mean like Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler? I’ve heard that he doesn’t want to miss a thing. Also, he misses you, babe.

          • ernie1one

            best response ever

          • jak_341

            I cried at that part in the movie. True story. (pauses for uncomfortable silence)

          • Dain Laguna

            ah…there’s my chippy

      • Matt

        Google Reader

    • M1NUS-1

      Flipboars lets u only view one article at a time tho, right (or am I missing something)? I that regard, I much prefer Currents (Freely when I’m online).

      • If you click through, yes. But multiple posts can show up on the same screen, especially if they have no attached media

        • M1NUS-1

          Ty 4 the clarification. 🙂

  • Octotron

    Maybe we can find out why the battery drains like a champion now, too?

    • Daniel Monza

      Check if your main battery drainers are “Android System” and/or “Google Services”. If so, a cold reboot will fix it.

      • j__h

        What exactly is a cold boot?

        • JoshGroff

          Shut the device off, turn it back on.

          • j__h

            So pretty much if you have shut off the device and turned it back on this will do nothing? Or is the problem reoccurring?

          • JoshGroff

            I believe it’s for the same reason you reboot a PC, to clear up virtual memory, to close out of all open programs that may be causing a problems, and what not.

          • 4n1m4L

            Cept dalvik basically keeps virtual memory. I clear my cache every so often.

          • Raven

            Is their an easy way to clear that dalvik cache on a non-rooted android device? I have always used a root tool on my rooted devices.

          • 4n1m4L

            If you can get to recovery do it from there. Typically you hold down certain buttons during startup

    • 4n1m4L

      On mine when I first got it the glgps service ate everything. Never really figured out why. I just leave GPS disabled now.

    • snowblind64

      I haven’t noticed a change in battery use. Maybe it’s because I updated via a factory image instead of waiting for the OTA. Not sure why but I’m not experiencing most of the problems others are having with the 4.2 update.

  • This is why I love the android community, they are always working around the clock to find fixes for glitches and issues.